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Jewish Journal

Picks and Clicks for Feb. 7–13, 2009

by Dikla Kadosh and Lilly Fowler

February 5, 2009 | 5:17 pm

Andy Lipkis, founder of TreePeople

Andy Lipkis, founder of TreePeople

SAT | FEBRUARY 7
(BENEFIT CONCERT)
Israeli violin virtuoso Hagai Shaham has performed at Carnegie Hall five times. The classical musician and USC professor is working toward another performance at the hall — but this time for the talented tikes of the South Pasadena Children’s Orchestra. The award-winning ensemble, made up of 5- to 11-year-olds, including Shaham’s own two children, is raising money to fund a trip to New York for an April concert. Lending his support and skills to the effort, Shaham will perform and speak at an intimate black-tie gala in South Pasadena. The evening will include a wine-and-cheese reception before the concert, a catered dinner, a talk by Shaham titled, “The Life of a Musician” and a silent auction. The Children’s Orchestra will also be making an appearance on stage in a Bach minuet. Sat. 6 p.m. $75. Oneonta Congregational Church, 1515 Garfield Ave., South Pasadena. (626) 403-4611. www.stringsprogram.com/gala.

(ISRAELI DANCING)
The father of Israeli folk dancing in the United States is turning 80. How do you think he wants to celebrate his birthday? By dancing of course! Dani Dassa, the iconic teacher and choreographer who founded Café Danssa and the dance camp, Rikud, will be the guest of honor at a fundraiser for Israel youth programs that will double as his birthday party. Sponsored by the Dassa family and Wilshire Boulevard Temple — where Dani’s son, David, runs a popular weekly folk dance session — the evening of old classics will feature many of the elder Dassa’s own dances, along with other favorites from his era. All proceeds will go to American Red Magen David for Israel and Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Israel programs. Sat. 8 p.m.-midnight. $10. Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Irmas Campus, 2112 S. Barrington Ave., Los Angeles. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


SUN | FEBRUARY 8
(SCIENCE)
Eric Kandel was a witness to appalling human behavior in his early life. He took his traumatic experiences of fleeing Nazi-occupied Vienna and channeled them into research in behavioral science. For more than 50 years, Kandel has been delving into the brain processes that shape human behavior and memory, and in 2000 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Spend “An Afternoon With Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel” at a rare Los Angeles appearance, and view the premiere of a new documentary, “In Search of Memory — Eric Kandel,” based on his 2006 autobiography, “In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind.” Sun. 2 p.m. $10 (general), $8 (members and students). Advance tickets required. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (877) 722-4849. www.skirball.org.


(HIKING)
Just in time for Tu B’Shevat comes a hiking adventure from Jewish Outdoor Adventures and the San Diego Jewish Singles Hiking Club. Hike leaders will take an enthusiastic group through Oso Trail-Juaneno Trail Loop, a beautiful 8.8 miles with a 2,200 elevation gain. Located in Caspers Wilderness Park in San Juan Capistrano, the trail is lined with oaks, pines and sycamores, and offers views of the ocean and Baja. Participants are encouraged to bring two liters of water, lunch, snacks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and hiking boots. Carpools will be coordinated in Los Angeles and the Valley for those who R.S.V.P., picking up participants at 8:30 a.m. so the hike can start at 10 a.m. Loose-fitting, light-colored clothes are recommended. For more information, visit jewishoutdooradventures.com or call (310) 858-6875 or (310) 770-7962.


(MUSIC)
This isn’t just Yiddish music; these are Yiddish tangos. Gustavo Bulgach, bandleader and clarinet player behind Klezmer Juice, is bringing the Jewish music of his native Argentina and other Latin American countries to an L.A. audience. Klezmer Juice will be the highlight of “Jewish Urban History in the Americas: A Comparative Look at Jewish Buenos Aires & Jewish Los Angeles,” which also features a panel discussion on “Jewish Life in Buenos Aires: Past and Present.” R.S.V.P. is required. Sun. 7 p.m. Free. UCLA Center for Jewish Studies and Yiddishkayt Los Angeles, 314 Royce Hall, UCLA Campus, Los Angeles. (310) 206-4836. www.cjs.ucla.edu.


(PLAY)
Set during World War II, “Lost in Yonkers” tells the story of Arty and Jay, who are sent to live with their intimidating grandmother and kind, mentally challenged aunt. The Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play has been described as an “unsentimental examination of lives in an oppressive household climaxing with a dramatic confrontation between the bitter mother and lonely daughter.” In short, the play is hailed as one of Neil Simon’s best. Sun. 2 p.m. (Also at 7 p.m. on following Sundays.) Tue.-Thu. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 and 8 p.m. Through Feb. 22. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., Los Angeles. (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310. www.lamiradatheatre.com.

(TU B’SHEVAT)
Andy Lipkis, founder of TreePeople, will be getting his hands dirty at the group’s annual Tu B’Shevat tree planting in the San Fernando Valley, and he needs your help. Volunteers of all ages are invited to lend a hand in planting 90 flowering peach trees in a city park as part of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Million Trees L.A. initiative. Take part in healing the environment and celebrate the Jewish New Year of the Trees. Sun. 9 a.m.-noon. Free. Northeast San Fernando Valley (address and directions provided upon registration). www.treepeople.org.


(TU B’SHEVAT)
Sinai Temple’s ATID (for ages 21-39) is celebrating Tu B’Shevat, young professionals style. Cocktails, four-course dinner, door prizes and a drum circle are all part of Journey to Tu B’Shevat, an eco-friendly seder designed to help you celebrate the Jewish New Year for Trees with your friends. Sun. 5 p.m. $28 (members) $36 (nonmembers) $46 (at door). Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 481-3244. www.sinaitemple.org.


WED | FEBRUARY 11
(PURIM BALL)
President Obama and fellow inauguration revelers aren’t the only ones attending a ball this season. Temple Emanuel is hosting its second annual Beverly Hills Purim Ball, honoring Sue and Barry Brucker, mayor of Beverly Hills. In the spirit of Purim, the couple is being honored for their contributions to civic, educational, cultural and humanitarian service organizations. The event will benefit community outreach and social justice programs at Temple Emanuel. Wed. 6 p.m. $275. Beverly Wilshire Hotel, 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 288-3737, ext. 242. orly@tebh.org. www.tebh.org.


(FILM)
Movie lovers and history buffs will delight in “Strangers in Paradise: Jewish Filmmakers in Exile,” a six-session film history class offered by Inside the Story. Taught by film scholar Alessandro Pirolini, the series will highlight the cultural, artistic and intellectual contributions of Jewish filmmakers who were instrumental in creating Hollywood. The multimedia lectures will blend video and audio clips, films, literary texts and songs. Wed. 7 p.m. $250 (six sessions). El Caballero Country Club, 18300 Tarzana Drive, Tarzana. (310) 367-5140. www.insidethestory.com.


THU | FEBRUARY 12
(VALENTINE’S DAY)
It’s that dreaded time of year again, or — depending on your perspective — maybe it’s your favorite time of the year. No matter, because new singles group Heebster is throwing a Valentine’s Day party everyone can enjoy, whether you’re married, single, divorced or as they like to say on Facebook, in that “complicated” category. The Black and Red Party will not only give you an excuse to dress up in dashing red or black, but it will also help raise funds for the nonprofit cancer organization, Imerman Angels. Complimentary sushi and dessert, cash bar and prizes; what more could you want? Thu. 9 p.m. $25 at door, $20 pre-sale. Location to be determined. www.heebster.com.


(ART)
No one knows exactly how many Israelis live in Los Angeles — the estimates vary wildly from 250,000 to 600,000 — but the Department of Cultural Affairs for the city of Los Angeles has discovered that there are quite a few talented artists among them. “From There to Here: Contemporary Southern California Artists From Israel” is the first exhibit of its kind, showcasing 10 cutting-edge artists and their paintings, video installations, digital photographs and sculptures. In their art, these ex-pat artists address issues such as identity, memory, the Holocaust and life in Los Angeles. Thu. Noon-5 p.m. Public reception, Feb. 15. Free. Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 644-6269.


(BOOK READING)
“We’re All in the Same Boat,” a children’s book about the animals in Noah’s ark, could well be the official book of the Obama administration. The metaphor is spot on: A boatload of cantankerous critters under terrible conditions is united by the words of a charismatic and wise leader. In Zachary Shapiro’s debut book, artfully illustrated by Jack E. Davis, the message of community is delivered with wit and humor in an alphabet story that will delight and inspire young children and their parents alike. Bring the tots to one of Shapiro’s upcoming readings: Feb. 12 at 4 p.m., Children’s Book World, 10580 1/2 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles; Feb. 15 at 1:30 p.m., Storyopolis, 14945 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; Feb. 22 at 2 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Westside Pavilion. www.allinthesameboat.com.


(PLAY)
In a plot twist of Shakespearean proportions, Brenda Adelman’s “My Brooklyn Hamlet” reflects on the shooting death of her bohemian mother by her wannabe-Italian father, who goes on to marry her sister. Performed around the world, including the Repair the World: International Jewish Theatre Festival in Vienna and the 11th annual Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, Adelman’s one-woman show is a story of triumph over tragedy. The performance promises to offer big laughs, big characters and plenty of poignant moments. Thu. 8 p.m. $12 (online); $14 (at door). (Also playing on March 12.) bang., 457 N. Fairfax Ave., Hollywood. (866) 811-4111. www.bangstudio.com.


(SCIENCE)
Jonah Lehrer is a young, brilliant, Jewish overachiever who has toiled in Nobel laureate Eric Kandel’s lab and published a much-acclaimed book, “Proust Was a Neuroscientist.” He is also an editor-at-large for Seed magazine and writes the Frontal Cortex blog. Lehrer will be at ALOUD to discuss his second book, “How We Decide,” which explains what is happening in our brains when we choose which shoes to wear or which man to marry. Thu. 7 p.m. Free. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, Fifth and Flower streets, Los Angeles. Reservations strongly recommended. (213) 228-7025. www.aloudla.org.

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